This blog is my public diary of experiences that I've had as I become increasingly involved in the area of Kensington, Pa. I am including experiences that I am having as I sit down, one on one, with homeless people who are dealing with Substance Use Disorder. All Names have been changed and, occasionally, I share a story using the opposite pronoun (he/she him/her), as an additional way to assure privacy.
As I come to know these fine people, they share with me more of their personal and sensitive stories. Their collective story is what I am trying to share with you as my way of breaking the stereotypical beliefs that exist. "Blog names" have occasionally been given to me by the person whose story I am telling. Names are never their actual names and wherever I can do so, I might use the opposite pronoun (his/her, etc.) just to help increase their privacy.
Throughout this blog you are now seeing advertising. I need to provide this so as to keep going financially with this ministry. If you see something that is inappropriate to this site, please let me know - maybe get a screen shot of it for me. I do get credit for any "click" that you might make on any of the ads. If you're bored some night and want to help me raise some needed cash, visit my site and click away to your heart's content....
Tuesday, June 27, 2017
Where is My Hairbrush? Another Glimpse Into Normal
Sunday, June 25, 2017
Mickey Makes Music and Gives a Glimpse Into Normal
Mickey had told me she played the guitar years ago. I pulled that same Yamaha Classical guitar out of its case and handed it to her. She wouldn’t take hold of it but watched intently as I played my typical miscellaneous progression of chords.
Sunday, June 18, 2017
What did I do today?
Saturday, June 17, 2017
The Tracks: Organized Community In Hell
As we were starting to make our way up the hill I noticed that the young woman and the young man who had just been shooting up their heroin were actually catching up to us. I told our leader that I was broken-hearted to have watched this young person sticking a needle in her own arm. Our leader said that her name is Natalie. When Natalie got close enough to us with her guy friend our leader introduced me to them and told Natalie that I felt bad for her and her situation. Natalie immediately said that she was very embarrassed by her situation and wants help. The four of us chatted together and I explained to her that she could find help if you wanted it and she said she does want it. I told her about the Recovery Group at Urban Hope and she said she really wanted to come to it.
Sunday, June 11, 2017
She could be YOUR DAUGTHER, YOUR GRANDDAUGHTER, YOUR NIECE, etc.
Saturday, June 10, 2017
Well, that didn't take long.
I thought I would leave home early by about 2 hours to go to the Conquering grounds Cafe in Bensalem Pennsylvania. I stopped along the way at the Wawa store on Aramingo Avenue to see if Mickey and others who I know from here we're here. I pulled into the parking lot, got halfway around the building and there was Mickey walking across the parking lot. In this hot weather her shirt was rolled up a little bit and I could see how much weight she has lost by being on the street for four years. I asked her if she had eaten today and she said yes she's had 3 full meals and it's quarter of 5 p.m. I jokingly said that I should have come up earlier and eaten with her. She went on to explain that she's desperate for a cigarette and needs 5 more dollars for her next purchase although she didn't say it quite that bluntly. She knows that I will not buy her cigarettes and I will not give her money.
I looked at her and I told her that I knew that she would make it through this situation if she chooses to and reminded her of what we talked about last time. She seemed to understand. With that we said our goodbyes and I went into the store to buy a fruit smoothie that I am now enjoying as I sit here in the parking lot. And she is sitting next to the door to the store looking for money to continue her lifestyle.
Dear Lord May the seed of faith that was planted in her a couple of days ago begin to grow in Jesus name. Amen
Thursday, June 8, 2017
The Day Mickey Cried
Sunday, June 4, 2017
Doing Homeless Addict Ministry with a Homeless Addict
Wawa, Dad and a Personal Purse
As I dictate this blog into my phone, I am sitting in a Wawa store parking lot on Aramingo Avenue. There are at least four homeless men hanging around the store looking for money. Presumably, all of them are addicts. This location seems to be a hub of homeless addict activity.
I have to admit that I find it rather ironic that I am sitting in a Wawa store parking lot doing my best to fulfill this new calling in Ministry. What most people don't know is that as a child I actually knew Graham and Emily Wood. Graham Wood was the creator of the Wawa store. His family were active members of the church that my father served faithfully and honorably for his entire ministry as an Episcopal priest.
A couple of days ago I was sharing these Ministry adventures with a woman friend of mine from Delaware County Pennsylvania. She proceeded to pack up a woman's purse with all kinds of woman items to give specifically to Mickey if I can find her. And so here I sit in the Wawa parking lot reminiscing about Graham and Emily Wood and my father's Ministry hoping that in some small way I can carry on his legacy as I do what I can to follow God's call on my life.
Saturday, June 3, 2017
Kicked to the Curb
Sometimes you just need to be watered…
Thursday, June 1, 2017
Ian, Autumn and Mickey: three human beings made in the image of God
Please say a prayer for a full grown man named Ian. I saw him crying like a baby with his hands folded in prayer and his head held low on a street corner in Kensington. When I pulled over to ask him what was wrong he said that his mother had come to see him where he's living on the streets and scolded him for ruining his life with his addiction. His mother's words cut him to the core and he was broken.
I told him that I was going to a recovery meeting and that I would like him to come with me. He thanked me and turned me down.
Each and every Thursday for the past month or so I have been going to Kensington and a faith-based recovery meeting for the sole purpose of finding homeless addicts to take with me to the meetings.
In case you're wondering, I do not suffer from any addictions myself. I just feel this as a very strong calling these days.
In addition to Ian, I found Autumn who I have mentioned previously. I invited her to the meeting as well. She explained to me that she was not really interested because she's been living on the streets across the entire country for the past eight or so years. She is married and her husband is with her although I did not see him this evening.
As I was leaving Kensington this evening, I stopped at the Wawa Store on Aramingo Avenue and found Mickey who I have also described before in my blogs. I asked her if she had eaten properly in a while and she said yes but was thirsty. I said let's go into the Wawa Store. She hesitated because they keep throwing her out every time she walks in on her own. I reminded her that as a child I actually knew the founders of the Wawa Store and if they gave us a hard time I would do some name-dropping. She giggled and we walked in. She chose a Sprite. I chose a chocolate milk. We stood in the rather long line conversing like two human beings having a conversation while we waited our turn to pay for the items.
Please pray for all of them, human beings made in the image of God just like you and me.